People: Ascendis Pharma A/S (ASND.OQ)
Dr. Juha Punnonen, M.D. Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President - Head of Oncology of the Company. Dr. Punnonen served as Executive Director, Oncology Discovery Research, at Merck & Co., Inc., a pharmaceutical company, where he coordinated preclinical research and early development programs for Merck Oncology, including external clinical collaborations for Merck’s anti-PD-1 antibody, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab). Prior to his tenure at Merck, he served as CEO and Head of Research and Development at STATegics, Inc., a biotechnology company he co-founded in 2007. Prior to STATegics, Dr. Punnonen was Vice President and Head of Biology and Pharmacology at Maxygen, Inc., a company developing next-generation protein therapeutics and vaccines. He began his industry career in 1994 as a scientist with DNAX Research Institute (later Schering-Plough Biopharma and Merck Research Labs), where he had done his postdoctoral training in cytokine research. His clinical experience is in internal medicine, pediatrics and medical microbiology. Dr. Punnonen received his M.D. and Ph.D. (immunology) from the University of Turku, Finland.
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